The Beauty of The Basic

Okay so if I haven’t already told you or if you don’t already know, I’M AN ENGLISH STUDENT. I basically mould myself into the stereotype but it’s pretty easy because I’m a nerd. Anyways, being all artsy and pretending to be clever all the time is a lot more taxing than you’d think – I don’t just read a book and suddenly remember quotes from random paragraphs (unless it’s Sylvia Plath). When I’m not reading Nabokov’s collected poems or doing what is usually pretentious, I will be teddy-bear rolling to Ariana Grande because I’m a basic bitch and proud.

Today there are so many labelled categories we place ourselves into and feel included. Remember the wave of hipsters flooding independent coffee shops? And the geeky glasses, big beards and veganism that were so cool for 10 seconds. There was also on fleek eyebrows, fashion blogging and being politically correct. None of these things were/ are bad. Obviously being more open-minded has aided the progression of millennials. However, within these labelled groups there is a hierarchy. For some reason the basic white girl is socially less than the intelligent hipster. These categorisations of people are not new but are fuelled by the presence of social media auditing every Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to label an individual.

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I have friends that are literal stereotypes. For instance, my beautiful Lucia is a blue-haired vegan lesbian and self-professed Brightoner. She is also one of the most caring and spirited people I know. Just because of how she looked I never thought ‘oh she’s gay’. Turns out she is but that doesn’t degrade her identity or tick off a criteria for her to be a vegan or a Brightoner. For me identity has always been an area of crisis. I love reading, I love vinyls, I love pinafores and berets. But I also love tacky romcoms, sparkly dresses and classic ’00s hip hop. So I feel unlabelled.

I reckon for everyone there is a fluidity to identity. We all shape ourselves depending on trends, fads or boredom. Now that it’s 2017, there is no right way to identify but a multitude of choice. Having more choice includes more people but also divides more people. If there is more classification there is also a greater complexity of division. Then there’s the people in-between, like Tina who wears granny clothes and raps to Kendrick Lamar.

Being part of social groups is great if you feel like yourself and have friends that support it but there is no need for antonymous groups to fire hate at them for being different. It used to always be the case that ‘weird’ people were outcasted and cumulated at the margins to create their own group i.e. hipsters. But now that it’s mainstream to not be mainstream and the ‘cool’ kids are ‘basic’.

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Our lovely social media has played a great hand in constructing identity while also disparaging them. If I see one more tweet dissing Love Island or one more Facebook status complaining about basic girls in Starbucks taking selfies on there iPhone 7+, I will delete all my social media accounts (I probably won’t). It is so frustrating how social media allows for self-expression with the certain backlash of judgement. A very prominent example from the past few weeks is Taylor Swift. Firstly, Vogue Magazine, how can you support Taylor Swift for years on end and then post shit about her a few days after ‘Look What You Made me Do’??? None of us actually know Taylor Swift (unless you’re in her squad which is my ultimate life goal) so why is there a whirlwind of media constantly attacking (or praising) her? It seems we only like and hate people when it’s trendy to. I’m not defending this huge Kimye fiasco or whatever else she has been slammed about. But seriously, leave her alone. Ultimately, I’m just trying to point out that today we all love to focus on the negative parts of people, especially celebrities. Publicising the terrible parts of people can maybe momentarily make us feel better but are you really a good person if you can only feel good about yourself when someone else doesn’t?

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In the end, it is really only a problem if you care. Just being yourself can have no consequences. Sure there’s haters and the feeling of exclusion but it’s 2017!!! Difference is everywhere, everyone is different. And everyone needs to stop hating. If I listen to the Top 40 on my way to see BP’s Portrait of the Year it really doesn’t affect anyone. Nor does it change who I am. So if Taylor Swift wants to share a song in defence of herself, everyone else ought to just listen to it rather than tweet hate about it.

Here’s to basic bitches, hipsters, emos, goths, chavs, transgender people, gay people, non-binary, vegans, carnivores and everyone because I can’t remember all the stupid labels.

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Bodies in Crisis

Is it weird how fascinated by bodies I am? I love to look a bodies. Every body I see I can analyse and compare to others. Worst of all, I compare every body to my own. It’s strange seeing so much beauty in so many different bodies but detesting my own. When I was 12 I compared my legs to young boys legs because they were so much skinnier pre-puberty. It’s always been that way.

Throughout my teens I have compared my own growing body to every friend or classmate’s body. The worst I ever felt was in a physics class, we were doing an experiment and our weight had to be known for some formula. Each girl weighed themselves (or discovered their mass u physics bastards) and while I thought I was relatively small, I still weighed more than them. I was 15, 5’6 and 59kg. I have been embarrassed about my weight and my appearance since then.

The following summer it was my mission to lose weight. I practically starved for 2 months losing more weight than anticipated. I have never been painfully thin but I was recognisably thin and I got a lot of harsh comments. Telling someone insecure about their weight that they look “disgusting” or “ill” when they’ve lost weight will not make them gain weight. It made me lose more weight until I was on the brink of becoming actually ill. I’m not anorexic or ever have been anorexic to clarify. I just went a bit too far with weight loss at one point in my life but I stopped before it got too severe.

Nonetheless, looking different physically leaves an array of mental scars. From the age of 16 to now I have never been comfortable with my body. Looking in the mirror begs me to lose weight. Not looking in the mirror gives me anxiety because I can only see my reflection in other people’s expression. Thus began a nasty cycle of losing and gaining and losing and gaining weight. It sounds silly because I’ve never lost or gained a noticeable amount of weight.  But when I am a certain weight I know when to feel good and when I weigh what I did that day in physics I know it’s time to diet. The mentality body dysmorphia gives you is a feeling of inadequacy. Not being good enough is based on your weight but even when you lose weight there’s a new standard, you will never be happy with what you weigh or how little you weigh.

It’s all very depressing but it’s good to know I’m not the only one facing a body crisis. Talking about how much your body can affect you relieves so much of misery that looking in the mirror gives you. I used to hide all my bad habits to look a certain way and it felt wrong hiding so much that consumed so much of me. But talking about it and legitimising something as shallow as how you look is actually mentally liberating.

Since starting university my diet has drastically changed. Living under my own roof (well KCL’s roof) I have had to take full responsibility for myself. At the beginning, I thought this was my chance to finally lose all the weight I wanted to and how I wanted without my family’s supervision. The exact opposite happened. For the past year I have eaten every single day! That may sound silly but compared to 17-year-old me who would only eat 3 days per week it is a massive improvement. It was up to me to stop letting myself die and be happy with myself. I can’t say I’m fully happy with myself (who is?) but I’m a lot happier than someone starving themselves. I suppose that could be my goal for 2nd year – learning how to love myself completely, not just parts of myself.

Writing this now is a bid for me to take the advice I give other people. No good person would criticise someone’s body to the extent they would feel it necessary to starve themselves. So if no one wants someone else to feel this way then it’s my responsibility to feel good about myself and feel as beautiful as I see other people.

ALSO WHEN YOU’RE DOWN LOOK AT CLASSICAL ART, APHRODITE WAS FINE AND SOFT AND BEAUTIFUL!

 

 

The Art of Being Positive

I realised recently that I blame a lot of what goes wrong on everything around me. If I don’t get a good mark in coursework I’ll blame people who wanted to hang out too much before submitting it. If I gain weight I’ll blame whoever made me eat dinner with them. If I fall out with someone I will entirely blame them and take no responsibility. It’s great if you are a perfect person and nothing is actually your fault but that’s probably not true. All of these things make me sad but all are things that I have the power to change. Wallowing in my on self-pity has become tiresome and I kind of realise now that I am responsible for some of the things that go wrong. So here I am writing a blog post about being positive and trying to be positive cause writing makes me happy so at least I’m trying.

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A lot of people probably feel this way and it’s good to remind yourself that while you are important so is everyone else! Everyone deserves to be happy so you can’t blame your shitty time on them. Also prioritise yourself. It seems like a bit of a paradox but essentially my aim is to have a better perspective of people around me while also enhancing my perception of myself. Like Baz Luhrman said, you aren’t as fat as you think you are.

Being positive is one of the hardest things if you have a pessimistic mind destroying every positive thought could ever enter. But if I don’t start being positive I don’t think I’ll ever be happy. I don’t have some long self-help plan with a lot of psychological jargon. I think to be more positive it has to be on my terms because that way I know it’s best for me. Everyone is different with what they are and how they deal with things I don’t think following a restrictive plan to get from A to B will be the best in the long-term.  All I know is to be more positive I have to be less negative.

How does one become less negative? (here is my step by step guide)

Step 1 – Don’t refer to one’s self as one.

Step 2 – Do what makes you happy, you know that means pizza so eat all the pizza in the world. Who cares if you’re skinny if you’re unhappy.

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Step 3 – Don’t let others negativity or low spells affect you. They are their own people and you don’t need to burden yourself with the unhappiness of others. Still be there for them and support them but don’t take any of their negativity on board.

Step 4 – Have some perspective. It’s futile to get angry or upset over things, you don’t always have to be right so consider everyone’s point of view before jumping to conclusions.

Step 5 – If you know what’s bad for you, you’ll stay away from it. If this a person, place, thing, alcohol etc. it’s best to just give it up completely. Maybe at the beginning it’ll be difficult but eventually it will make you so much happier.

Step 6 – If you know what’s good for you, make the most of it. Lucky for me I have a precious boyfriend, angelic friends and a family of rascals so finding comfort is not hard. So stop taking them all for granted!!!

Step 7 – You deserve to love yourself as much as everyone around you does. Set yourself goals for the future, imagine you’re Rory Gilmore (my main motivation) and will be successful with your flat in Paris sporting a pseudo 60s attire.

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Me living in Paris looking like Anna Karina

Step 8 – Listen to Paramore’s new album.

I’ve been caught up in a generation where hating yourself is cool or something (see nihilist memes). I can’t blame my generation for this because I’m a happy bunny now and happy bunny’s take responsibility so I have to separate myself from this notion. There’s a lot of romanticism today and while that’s great for writing things or maintaining an aesthetic, it’s not really worth it. Pretending to be sad will make you actually sad. But my life is not a Sofia Coppola film even if I’m very overdramatic. So I guess I’ll see where my 8 step guide takes me, I reckon I’ll be writing self-help books in no time.

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get it girl

Death is No Dream

If you know me, you may also know my twin sister, Tina. Tina is the sun. Tina is the best person you will ever meet. Tina is the best baker you will ever meet. Tina wears bunny ears and dresses for 4 year olds and bumblebee tights. But Tina tried to kill herself.

Tina shared her story online a few days ago which I think is one of the bravest things anyone can do. Last Monday night she tried to hang herself and had it not been for my mum telling her to come down for dinner she wouldn’t be alive. At 11pm I phoned home to see how everyone was and heard the news. My heart sank to my toes and (if you’ve read my other blogs you will know I have anxiety) sirens went off in my head triggering panic attack after panic attack. This isn’t about me though. This is about suicide.

Luckily, I still have Tina. She’s in a psychiatric hospital being treated but it’s not like Girl, Interrupted. There is an array of mental illnesses being dealt with, none deeming patients any less human than anyone free of mental illness. Mental illness and suicide seriously need to be reconsidered – you are not crazy if you suffer from mental illness. You are just unwell.

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Suicide is not glamorous or edgy or romantic. Witnessing suicide or attempted suicide makes you feel like you’re already dead, like you’re grieving underground because there’s only a corpse left of someone you could’ve saved. But imagine how they feel. I’ve talked to Tina about her attempt and she’s suffered from severe depression on and off for years. Depression can make you feel like you’re underwater and I think Tina sank so low she stopped trying to breathe. Whatever you see on TV is not a speck as traumatic as the reality of suicide. The Virgin Suicides, Skins and Thirteen Reasons Why are prime examples of decorated suicides. However, rarely do we see the aftermath of suicide – like the funerals, the grief, the emptiness of the world when someone has committed suicide.

Honestly, I am one to romanticise things. A few years ago I overdosed and this was nothing more than a cry for help. When Tina tried I really understood the gravity of suicide. It’s not a good idea. I was hopeless but I didn’t want to die. It’s scary when your sister says she actually wanted to die. I don’t know how to feel or be alive if Tina wasn’t here with me and for what I did two years ago, I apologise to my family and everyone I affected for being an overdramatic teenager.

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To clarify, SUICIDE IS NOT SELFISH! People, you need to understand if someone is willing to take their own life they are not thinking it will hurt you, they think it will make everything easier for you. While this is rarely true, people suffering from depression don’t need to be berated but helped. There are so many symptoms of depression but from what I know, if someone is depressed they are not themselves. Depression isn’t a characteristic of someone, it’s an illness. Over the past few months I noticed Tina’s mood was quite erratic and when she messaged me on Monday night a vaugue “I’m sorry” but I had a feeling she would either be in hospital or dead when I tried to call.

I blamed myself for a few days after. I could’ve phoned my house and said check on Tina. Or called her that second and asked what’s wrong. Or gotten on a plane. But there’s always 1 million reasons we can use to blame ourselves and blaming yourself will never be enough so save someone. Tina told me it wasn’t something anyone or anything did that made her want to die, it was just how she felt but I just wish I had been home to try and help her get the help she needed. At least now she is.

Finally, I just want to say you shouldn’t be ashamed. I know so many people denying their own mental ailments because they don’t want to be called crazy. If this past week has taught me anything it’s that the unfeeling onlookers judging you for mental illness are not good people. They have no right to make you feel ashamed of being depressed or taking medication for anxiety or for having feelings.

PLEASE PEOPLE STAY STRONG AND IF YOU NEED HELP, GET IT, YOU DESERVE IT!

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For Tina

(Thank you Sylvia Plath’s poem Mushrooms, Paramore’s new album and my pets for helping me through this past week)

How to be a Starr

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When I first started blogging I wanted to blog about fashion. Having written 15 blogs (this being my 16th) I have not written a word of fashion. There’s a sort of inauthenticity to fashion blogging circulated around the pretentious atmosphere of writing. Fashion blogging is stigmatized because it is about clothes. But clothes are essential for everyday (unless you want to be arrested for nudity) so what differentiates a painting or sculpture from clothing if they’re both art?  A lot of people think fashion is as material as the clothes on models. Butttttt I have interviewed a very popular fashion blogger – Starr Clare– and have delved into the world of fashion blogging. Seemingly, it is more than a material thing, but one of courage, expression and emotion.

Starr Clare is a fashion blogger from Manchester and part of the Instagram generation. Throughout her blogging she has garnered 14.9k followers and has endorsed companies such as Accesorize and L’Oréal. As a humble girl from a council estate, we can all look to Starr for inspiration. Using her dress sense as a way to engage with media is certainly as striking (if not more encouraging) to be more comfortable with yourself.

Starr kindly agreed to answer an array of questions I asked based on what interested me most about fashion blogging. Starr has been genuinely the main influence for my own blogging, and while we blog about different things, I was interested to see what sparked her interest of fashion blogging.

I’ve been following your career as a blogger for a while and you’ve become exceedingly better but what inspired you start?

S – I’ve always had an interest in fashion, uploading outfit posts on Instagram daily and a lot of people were asking my where my clothes were from. So, I decided I wanted to start a blog – making it  easier for people to follow, get to know a little bit more about me and shop all my looks! All the while, I was heartbroken using fashion, writing and blogging as a means of distraction.

N – Starr also has a page on the app 21 Buttons in which you can shop her latest outfits. I have done this. No regrets. Also, writing as a distraction is my alternative to counselling. Who needs other people when you can use your keyboard and screen?

Collaborating with the likes of Accesorize and L’Oréal proves how far you’ve come – is there a secret to your success?

S- I wish I had a secret! I’m still shocked that these brands contact me, it’s surreal. I just make sure I post frequently and keep my blog up to date.

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As mentioned in your blogs, you’ve had trouble with anxiety, did this encourage or hinder your blogging?

S- A bit of both. I wanted to start a blog for a good few years but my anxiety held me back. But then something just switched when I was going trough a hard time – I was pushed to start my blog and it felt amazing. I still have anxieties about my blog and whether I’m doing the right thing or whether people are judging but I just try to keep going!

N -Dealing with anxiety myself, Starr intrigued me. Online she is so outwardly confident and I thought if I started blogging I would maybe grow out of my anxiety. But I agree with Starr, anxiety is not something that goes away but as you build your confidence it is certainly less of an hindrance.

What is the hardest part of blogging?

S- Scheduling. Some brands want you to post at a certain time/date and that can be annoying when you already have other plans or content to post on that day.

N – If you’re not a blogger you might not realise the time and dedication that goes into one post. For me grammar, spelling and maybe a thesaurus are the most important thing. I can’t imagine the responsibility of a photo shoot, editing and themes to fit the blog.

LFW is upcoming and the fashion industry has been under scrutiny for their model measurements. What is your take on the fashion industry?

S – It’s heartbreaking to hear that models are suffering from eating and mental disorders because they are forced to mirror a certain image. It’s not healthy! I think models should have their weight regularly checked to see if they’re healthy and eating right. I do agree that slim models look best on some catwalks but I love that there are now plus size models! Women are beautiful wether they be slim or curvy.

N- It’s refreshing to see that Starr is so positive to the model/weight crisis. I have read many an interview/article describing diets to become a model. Most are eligible for hospital treatment. Having struggled with eating disorders it is encouraging to have role models like Starr enjoying food for health rather than starving for the perfect body.

Do you see yourself having a career in the fashion industry in the future?

S -Yes hopefully! I’d like to become a full time blogger.

Can you be fashionable on a budget (for all the students out there)?

S – Yes definitely! I wasn’t making any money when I first started my blog so I wasn’t able to afford much. A lot of my clothes are still bought from vintage and charity shops. Not all high street shops are expensive either and you don’t need to buy a Chanel bag to be a ‘successful blogger’ ha!

N – Having followed Starr’s advice, this is true. Selling my old clothes on Depop and gleaning vintage and charity shops for new clothes has left my purse more than empty.

From what I gather, Starr has made the most of what she has. Despite her setting, she doesn’t need London, Paris or New York for an authentic fashion shoot or outfit. Starr has an originality, experimenting with fashion rather than following trend and setting trends herself. I have encountered several bloggers investing a lot of money into clothing and advertising but ultimately it takes dedication and passion to succeed.

Thank you Starr for encouraging bloggers (like me) to persevere!

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My Pal Anxiety

Anxiety is more than just feeling nervous or having butterflies – it’s like attacking yourself and letting yourself believe you are completely powerless and inadequate in the most trivial of situations. Since I started secondary school anxiety has burdened every second of every day and continues to do so.  Anxiety is not a part of me but it seriously affects me. Sometimes are worse than others and naturally it is exam season so my good pal anxiety is there when I go to sleep and when I wake up.

It would be nice to just tell your anxiety to go away but here I am at 5.10am, unable to sleep and writing about what’s keeping me up. I think the best way to explain my anxiety is to go through my daily routine and how it is affected by anxiety.

When I wake up I am anxious in case I’ve overslept, I am anxious about the tremendous amount of things I have to do, I am anxious because I am here in London alone and won’t walk downstairs to see Granda making eggs but into my kitchen to find an empty cupboard. When I wake up sometimes it becomes too much that I just go back to sleep. Or I make some coffee and have shakey hands for an hour to two hours after.

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After I’ve washed and straightened my hair and applied my make up, because how I look makes me so anxious that I’ve started wearing make up, I’ll skip breakfast. Eating makes me anxious so I count calories and periodically weigh myself because if I gain weight I am even more anxious. Being chubby makes me not like ‘normal’ girls so I am anxious and will wait until lunch to eat a salad and drink a diet coke.

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A self-loathing me will devour one salad, a diet coke and bag of popcorn (if I’m feeling indulgent). Later I probably have to meet someone or be somewhere that I don’t want to because it makes me anxious. Not going makes me more anxious. Reluctantly, I’ll walk to wherever I have to be because wasting money on public transport means I have less to live and having less to live means I have practically nothing and I get anxious so waste my money on something to make me feel less anxious. Now, I am at a seminar and there’s about fourteen people, I recognise two faces. We’re only acquaintances so I don’t know if I can sit next to them but where else can I sit? They probably don’t want to sit beside me. I sit beside them because everyone else has already sat down while I was deciding where I could sit and there is only one more seat. Then the seminar leader starts talking and it’s going fine but now it’s an open discussion. If I don’t talk everyone will think I’m stupid but if I do I’ll say something wrong and I’ll still look stupid. I say the stupid thing and leave class thinking about it over and over again until I do something more embarrassing, like trip on my own foot (this happens surprisingly often).

I might have a lecture after and on a good day, ie. a Seb Franklin lecture, there could be at least 100 people there. I have to go to the toilets beforehand to wait out a panic attack, vomit from nerves or take a breather before the judgement of the masses tears me apart.

In the afternoon I could either run home to read/ watch Netflix, or worse – I could be with people. Being with my friends is usually fine until the conversation hits a dry spell and I make frequent toilet breaks. But sometimes, things take a dark turn and they introduce me to people I’ve never met before. I stick my shaky hand out for a handshake and stab them in the tummy as they lean in for a hug. I giggle awkwardly when they ask me a question I can’t hear properly. I stare out the window after I disengage from the conversation because I’ll probably say something stupid or I have no idea what they’re talking about. And hopefully I come up with a good excuse to leave and scurry home.

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For dinner I’ll probably have something light (see lunch anxiety).  Then I might glance at Facebook. Or Tweet about the terrible things I’ve encountered that day, then delete it because people seeing it makes me anxious. Maybe post an Instagram and get self esteem points with every like, then delete it. I could even message someone on Facebook and regret my entire existence because there’s no turning back when I press send. After comparing myself to every living thing on social media, I’ll call someone (probably my mum) for reassurance then cry because my anxiety knows they’re lying.

Just as I curl into my blankets and shut down my laptop, I realise that my room needs vacuumed and I won’t be able to sleep in a dirty room. It may be 11.30pm but this is urgent. Once my room is finally sparkling I’ll try to sleep again. I could wake up and start reading course material for next month or cut my hair or reorganise my wardrobe, the possibilities are endless. Then it’s 5am and I’m writing a blog post about anxiety which is giving me anxiety because I’ll wake up too late and ruin my whole routine.

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I’m anxious now because I think people who read this may think I’m being dramatic and everyone feels this way. This may be true but that is my life everyday when my mentality is set at normal. Other times I may have incessant panic attacks, decide to stay inside for days or not sleep for weeks and tell everyone it’s okay. My self destruction stemmed from anxiety and it has disparaged my relationships with friends, family and boyfriends. When things went bad with these relationships it just catalysed my anxiety and self-hating making things even worse. This cycle repeats itself and grows tiresome but anxiety doesn’t just go away and until it does I won’t be happy with myself, sadly.

Not to end on too bleak a note, my anxiety has alleviated. I used to be so anxious that I would skip weeks of school and teach myself the course because I was too anxious to let myself fail. Now I’m here in London at university, away from my mum cradling me with reassurance and almost fully responsible for myself. Two years ago anxiety suffocated me but now I can kind of breathe. To anyone who has anxiety (frankly, any mental illness), don’t ignore it! You do deserve to get treated for whatever may bring you down and it won’t get better until you realise this. It’s not a shameful thing to suffer from mental illness but it’s brave when you recognise you do.

You know what they say: a xanax a day keeps the panic attacks away….

 

 

IMAGES FROM GEMMA CORRELL (don’t sue me)

Netflix and Cry

DISCLAIMER – There may be spoilers and if you’re a pretentious film buff the show is not perfect, the last Selena Gomez song ruined it a lot.

I read 13 Reasons Why when I was 12. There’s assault, rape, murder and to garnish this cocktail of apparent teen angst is suicide.

My 12-year-old self knew of suicide, and the book sort of helped me understand. But I never understood how someone could confine taking their life to 13 reasons. And they don’t.

Netflix adapted 13 Reasons Why in 13 episodes and 13 hours. Those are 13 hours of crying I’ll never get back. While the series perfectly translates the purple prose of Jay Asher, it maintains the poignancy of the issues. Among the lexical language that supposedly rolls of 17-year-olds’ tongues, there is an intense portrayal of rape and suicide. The rawness of these scenes is not quite felt when reading the book and although controversial they perhaps redeem the source material.

Albeit, this is a Netflix production so there is an addictive quality. It’s kind of like Gossip Girl on xanax but it doesn’t end with xoxo. As Hannah Baker looks back on her struggles ultimately resulting in her suicide, Clay Jensen sets out to understand why, via tapes and a Walkman. Initially, it is like a typical show for drama-thriving teens. Hannah is a quirky and hopeful character – how can the narrator describe the path to her suicide so playfully? But with each A-side and B-side, the reasons unravel each more haunting than the last.

While Hannah’s emotional state deteriorates, she clings to a hope that it will get better. After cutting inches off her hair (this is relatable, I do this every time I’m feeling desperate) she declares herself as a new and improved Hannah. It is telling at this point that sometimes we can’t fix everything by ourselves and should seek help. Cutting your hair off may give you a momentary fresh outlook. But when you look in the mirror 2 days later you know you’re the same person with the same problems and a little less hair won’t fix that.

By tape 4, the reasons are not just emotional but physical. Hannah emotionally dies with every reason but the last straw is her rape, inducing a desperation for her physical death as well. The series ponders an array of social issues but I find the depiction of rape most important. It is primal, violating and fucking disgusting. The rapist is equally as such. Only one character actually fights for justice against rape and the rest treating it as an incident “to move on” from. When Hannah talks to the school counsellor we see how rape culture is cemented in society and endorsed by the male mind. Consent is consent, alcohol is not consent; short skirts are not consent; screaming is not consent. When Hannah is raped her face and fists lose life and prove rape is not something we can just move on from.

Some viewers may deem the penultimate reason the most legitimate, because it is physical. I think, however, the 13 reasons invite us to consider that suicide can be caused by something as trivial as not having coffee with your two best friends everyday. These little reasons can cascade into a fatality. The characters reinforce this as they seem indifferent to her suicide suggesting she was just an attention-seeker. However, there is an internal scarring that no one can ever truly understand because they can’t see it , they can only listen.

The debate between the lies and the truth throughout the series are ultimately marred – suicide isn’t a grey area. Most grave of the entire series is the suicide scene – uncensored and unforgiving. The last credits of Tape 7, Side A did not grant me any catharsis. I don’t know if we’re meant to understand suicide or just accept that it happens without judgement. Whether it is a cry for help or mission to die it cannot be taken lightly. 13 Reasons Why shattered the stigma surrounding more than just the issues of suicide, despite criticisms, and gave a voice to to mental illness.

http://www.samaritans.org/